Some rain kept Rogue Ales Farmer Doc McCallister and the crew out of the fields for a few days this past week, but soon they were back to work planting the rest of the Risk™ 2-row winter malting barley.
The process is often called drilling, because the rotating discs that drop the seeds into the furrows are said to “drill” them into the ground. Drilling next year’s Risk™ crop began a few weeks ago. That first section of barley is now 2-3 inches tall and thriving in the cool weather and rain.
We get some amazing scenes this time of year as the weather transitions from summer into winter. The alternating days of rain and sun create some great images like this stunning photo of rainbow over the Rogue Ales Barley Farm.
This weekend we noticed the Rogue Ales Risk Barley emerging from the soil. The Risk Barley was planted just a couple of weeks ago in preparation for the 2013 Summer Harvest. Pictured below are what the shoots look like.
You can still see the kernels
We also raise cattle at the Rogue Ales Barley Farm. That’s Tygh Ridge in the background. It lies north of the farm and protects it from the winter wind storms of the Gorge.
A freshly plowed field with irrigation wheels
Recently we followed Rogue Ales brewmaster John Maier as he hand-picked Freedom Hops fresh off the bine at the Rogue Farms Micro Hopyard in Independence, Oregon and then immediately drove them 77 miles to the brewery in Newport, Oregon. We are pleased to announce that Chatoe Rogue Wet Hop Ale has been brewed and bottled and is now available at www.rogue.com/store/
We Grow Hops. Taste the difference.
The Rogue Farms GYO Dream Pumpkins have been harvested! Rogue Ales Pumpkin Patch Ale will be available worldwide in a new orange painted 750ml bottles in Fall 2012. Rogue is dedicated to saving the terroir of Oregon hops, pumpkins and barley one acre at a time, by growing its own. YouTube Video: http://youtu.be/-ub6NoWXbac
The Rogue Dare Pumpkins have been picked from the Hopyard and have arrived at the Rogue Ales Brewery in Newport, Oregon. Christina, our brewmaster from the Rogue Ales Public House Eugene, has joined in on the fun – washing and cutting open the pumpkins and then chopping them up into chunks in preparation for roasting.
The average Rogue Farms Dream Pumpkin weighs 5 lbs and 5,217 lbs were brought to the brewery from the Rogue Farm. Still covered in dirt, each pumpkin needed to be washed prior to being chopped, scraped, roasted and brewed.
After a thorough cleaning, the pumpkins have their stem removed and are chopped into smaller pieces using the official Rogue Pumpkin Slicer – the machete. Each slice needs to have the pulpy interior removed and leave only the good part, the outer shell of the pumpkin.
The Dream Pumpkins are then roasted in the Rogue Nation Pizza Oven (tray by tray) for about 45 minutes each. After all the pumpkins have been roasted, they are pitched directly into the lauter tun for brewing. We brew the Chatoe Pumpkin Patch Ale with ginger, vanilla bean, cinnamon and nutmeg. Look for it on shelves starting this October. When you grow it, you know it. From ground to glass, patch to batch, Rogue grows its own.
The hop harvest may be over, but there’s still plenty to do around the Rogue Farms Micro Hopyard. Last weekend Rogue employees, families and friends harvested this year’s crop of GYO Dream Pumpkins for our Chatoe Rogue Pumpkin Patch Ale.
The Pumpkin Rogue Pickin’ Crew
If lugging around hundreds of big orange orbs sounds like hard work, you’d be right. But with everyone pitching in, the load didn’t seem quite so heavy.
Everyone helped load the pumpkins into the truck.
The 77 mile drive from Independence to Newport, OR begins.
Just as soon as we were done loading the Dream pumpkins onto the truck, we immediately set off for the Brewery in Newport, Oregon – which is a 77 mile drive away. Check back later today to see how we cut, roasted and pitch them in the brew kettle.
With the 2012 harvest of our seven varieties of GYO Aroma hops now behind us, now we’re ready to enjoy the bounty. A bottle of Chatoe Rogue Lager, Pilsner, Wet Hop Ale, Roguenbier and Mead. All of them are brewed with the ingredients we planted, grew, cultivated and harvested right here at Rogue Farms in Independence, Oregon.
The hop harvest was completed a few days ago as the Alluvial hops – the last of our seven varieties to be harvested – were bottom cut, top cut, stripped, separated, sorted, kilned, cooled and baled.
Getting here was quite the challenge. From the 100 year floods of January, to the blizzards and floods of March, to the slow start in April and May that had us more than just a little worried, to the bright sunny days of July and August that brought out thousands of beautiful tiny hop cones and wiping away all our doubts. This was one unforgettable season!
The GYO hops at the Rogue Farms hopyard in Independence are ready for harvest, and you know what that means: Wet Hop Ale. Freedom Hops were hand picked by Rogue Brewmaster John Maier this week. A 98 minute drive to our brewery in Newport, Oregon later, those still wet hops were added to the brew kettle to make Wet Hop Ale. Keep your eye out for it in the coming weeks!
Rogue Brewmaster John Maier inspecting the hops at the Rogue Farms Hopyard in Independence, OR.
Hand-picking the Freedom Hops.
98 minutes later: pitching the wet hops into the brew kettle at the Rogue Brewery in Newport, Oregon
The finished product.
We just began harvesting our 100 acres of Risk barley, which closely followed the Dare barley that was harvested a few weeks ago at the Rogue Farms Barley Farm in Tygh Valley, Oregon.
Did you know that the Dare and Risk malting barley grown at our farm goes right into each bottle of Chatoe Rogue Single Malt Whiskey?
Hop Harvest is about to begin! Join Rogue Farms at the Hopyard for the journey from terroir to tap!
Within the next couple weeks, the Rogue Department of Agriculture will begin trimming, separating, sorting, kilning, cooling and baling each of their seven varieties of Rogue GYO Certified aroma hops.
Take a look at the photos below to see the process from start to finish. You can also check out our Hop Harvest video here to learn more, and visit rogue.com for updates on harvest dates and times.
The Rogue Farms Hopyard in Independence, Oregon where we grow and harvest our own.
1. Dry Matter Testing: Tells you when the cones are ready for harvesting. 20% dry matter is a really good number. Of course the old timers used to just pull apart the cones and smell them.
2. Trimming: The harvest begins with cutting the bines just above the ground. Then large machines go through the hopyard and cut the bines from the wires. The loose bines fall into trucks and are brought to the processing area.
3. Separating: Feed the bines into a giant raking machine that strips off the cones, leaves and stems. This machine is called the picker.
4. Run everything through a series of conveyor belts, dribble belts and fans. Coming out on the other end will be nice, clean cones. This technology hasn’t changed since the 1980s.
5. Kilning: Big furnaces heat the hops to 145 degree F to 155 degree F to bring down moisture levels so the hops can be stored and shipped.
6. Cooling: Hops sit around in big piles for 24 hours to cool down before they’re baled.
7. Baling: The hops are pressed into 200lbs bales, wrapped in burlap and hand stitched.
8. The finished product. The Farmers and Fermenters of the Rogue Nation remain committed to saving the terroir of hops and barley one acre at a time by
growing their own.